WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - For good or for bad, anybody and everybody with internet access has a venue to express his or her opinions.
"Everybody's on air. Everybody has their own sliver of audience and things spread rapidly," said Brian Crowley of Crowley Political Report .
On his blog, Crowley talks Florida politics as well as national politics. Although he gives people a platform to speak their mind, he knows that he has a resonsibility. "Our policy is that if comments are over the top or too strong we don't allow them, we delete them."
Crowley thinks our political leaders need to help control dialogue on these social media sites as well. "They listen to their leaders and react. Whether it's Republic or Democrat, conservative or liberal, they listen to these often harsh dialogues and then they react to those things, often more intensely than the people making the comments."
With a website graphic that placed gun sight logos on a map of targeted congressional districts, it didn't take long for Sarah Palin to get pulled into this weekend's tragedy.
"I think it's terribly unfair to say Sarah Palin has anything to do with this shooting. But I will lump Sarah Palin and people on the right and left together with people who raise these inflammatory issues in inflammatory ways. That feeds into the social media and those people out there who blog and put things on Facebook and Twitter and they don't see the context of those things," Crowley said.
Facebook has been tracking trending topics related to the shooting. According to Facebook's Andrew Noyes, those topics include:
* "Sarah Palin" -- Did Sarah Palin's words incite this behavior?
* "gun control" -- Do we need tighter gun control?
* "mental health" -- Do we need better mental health reform?
* "9 year old" -- People seem to be deeply upset by the death of the 9-year-old girl
* "Tea Party" -- Again, this is a discussion with deep debate on both sides
Do you think vitriolic actions contribute to an environment that creates violence? Please leave your comments below or on the WPTV Facebook page .
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